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For the Summer of Covid, People Are Investing in Their Outdoor Spaces

25 ideas, from fire pits to adult-sized inflatable pools, all shippable to your quarantine

Add a fire pit, like this one from Novogratz.
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With summer upon us and vacations on hold, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to spruce up our at-home outdoor spaces. And it seems we’re not alone—if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably noticed that patio decor is quickly selling out online. But we’ve rounded up dozens of options here—suitable for tiny apartment balconies, big backyards, and rowhouse decks–all still in stock, and all shippable to your quarantine.

Herewith, our favorite ways to amp up your outdoor space this summer.

Invest in an outdoor sofa *with* cushions

It’s hard to adequately stress what a difference cushions make on outdoor furniture. They make seating comfier, of course, but they also make a patio or deck feel like a real extension of your living space.

Morocco Graphite loveseat, $976 (on sale) at Crate & Barrel.
Latigo patio sectional, $700 at Target.
Emily Isabella Parker sofa, $2,298 at Anthropologie.
Formentera outdoor occasional bench, $400 at World Market.
Urban outdoor sectional, $2,799 at West Elm.

Add a spot for coffee or cocktails al fresco

The key to turning even a tiny apartment balcony into a pleasant escape from indoor quarantine? A bistro set.

Heidi bistro set, $179 at Novogratz.


Fisher patio chat set, $350 at Target.
Haiti bistro set, $182 at Overstock.com.
Tarno Table + Two Chairs, $62 at Ikea.

Improve your socially distant hangs with a fire pit

One way to ensure you stay at least six feet away from your friends? Put a fire between you.

Hampton Bay Piedmont wood-burning fire pit with poker, $99 at Home Depot.
Asher wood-burning fire pit, $242 at Novogratz.
Riverside concrete propane fire pit, $740 at Wayfair.
Urli black fire pit, $244 at CB2.
Adara fire table with propane tank, $2,399 at Room & Board.

Take a nap in a hammock (because your next tropical vacay is likely a ways off)

The island breeze and ocean view can’t be delivered to your doorstep, but these can. Just add frozen cocktails.

Riso hammock with stand, $95 at Ikea.
Fennell quilted hammock, $126 at Wayfair.
Canyon Fringe hammock, $118 at Anthropologie.

Hang twinkly lights, since every date night now happens at home

It can be hard to make takeout romantic, especially 10 weeks into quarantine with a global pandemic raging. But somehow string lights always make a deck feel more special. (Just don’t forget the wine.)

Hampton Bay Edison-style indoor/outdoor lights (48-foot string), $50 at Home Depot.
Incandescent orb lights (11-foot string), $12 at Target.
Globe patio lighting (25-foot string), $24 on Amazon.
Solar LED lantern lights (12.5-foot string), $18.49 on Overstock.com.

Add some kind of entertainment

Because binging Netflix can feel pretty depressing when it’s gorgeous out.

Inflatable outdoor movie screen, $130 on Amazon. (You’ll also need a projector. This one is $120.)
Bocce set, $127.45 at Crate & Barrel.


Inflatable (adult-sized!) pool, $59 at Urban Outfitters.
Stained Boat Shoe cornhole board, $142 at Wayfair.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 and was a senior editor until 2022.